Forearm Training

Wrist and Forearm Training for Tennis Players

Wrist and forearm training and strength exercises are crucial for developing the kind of arm strength that can take your tennis game to a completely new level.  Achieving the wicked kind of snap to your wrist motion that can make a crosscourt passing shot just sizzle by your opponent takes your full commitment to a wrist and forearm training program.

You may be surprised that I include the forearm in the muscle groups necessary to develop this skill.  The forearm, however, is just as crucial to your groundstrokes, as your abdomen is for creating a solid foundation for your service game, or that endurance training is to staying fresh at the end of a match.

In fact, the forearm muscles are not only important in your typical swing but also for developing the controlled volleys and drop shots necessary to excel at net play.  So whether you are a serve-volley demon that rushes the net at every opportunity or a dirt baller that loves to grind it out from one corner of the baseline to the other for a thirty-shot rally, developing your wrist and forearm muscles and technique can help you take your game to the next level.

Forearm Training to Improve Strength

The key to wrist and forearm training is improving your strength.  You want to improve the strength of your muscle groups without putting unnecessary strain on your wrist.  As tennis players, we already ask quite a bit of our wrist muscles so the last thing you want to do is to add yet another stressor to your joints.


Three main forearm training exercises help improve forearm strength.  The first is probably the most obvious, the curl.  This is the weight lifting exercise we are all familiar with where you lift weights towards your body with your palms facing up.  To add extra support to this exercise however, you should lay your arm down on a bench, kneeling on the floor beside it, so that your elbows rest on the bench.  This should make it so that you focus the exercise on your forearm muscles.

You should look to have fifty repetitions for each session.

Reverse Curls

Although curls are great for developing the muscle groups that we most use in forehand shots, it leaves many of the backhand muscles untouched.  This is why you should also do reverse curls.  You again used the bench, but you lay your arm slightly on its side, so you face your palm away from you as you do your curls.  You should feel a completely different muscle group straining when you do this exercise.

As with curls, you should try to have fifty repetitions per session.


Reverse Curls

Finally, you need to work on improving the muscles that extend beyond the wrist into the hand.  Having power and control in your grip is just as important as having it in the forearm muscles that extend to the wrist.  The best way to do this is to keep a gripper with you and whenever you are idling somewhere where your hand is free, squeeze the gripper.  You will notice that many of the muscles extend out of your hand and up your arm during this exercise as well.

If you follow this strength-improving wrist and forearm training program, you will soon begin to see improved power in your groundstrokes.  The next step will be to practice getting just enough snap off your crossing shots to create pace without losing accuracy.  Then we will see who dares rush the net on you after you rocket a few passing shots back at them.